God is working in the details of your life you are yet to understand. He is guiding you to places you do not yet know about. He is preparing you for purposes you have not even yet imagined. And God does all of this, choosing you as a vessel for his power to flow through and his glory to be made known. Your job is simply to be available for it and continue to follow his promptings.
But, do you ever get sidetracked? Do you ever realize you have been majorly distracted and wandered down paths you should have never set foot on? Do you stray from the objective and get a little lost along the way sometimes?
Me too. Like a lot.
I had an app on my phone which guided me from where I was to where I wanted to go. The problem is, this particular GPS app had a real fancy for taking me on the back roads, through the ghettos, and sometimes dropping me off on dead end roads and declaring it was my final destination. This app really didn’t serve me well, although it provided many adventures along the way. But I continued to use this particular GPS app because I really liked the voice and I preferred the little map view it provided.
One day, a truly good friend who isn’t afraid to occasionally step on my toes and reach across me to do what’s best for me, grabbed my phone, deleted that app and said, “Stop it. You’re using Google Maps from now on!” And I have. I haven’t wandered down backroads through the ghettos since. My travels are a little less exciting and slightly more safe now.
Girls, sometimes we’re following things that really are not serving us well. We continue to do the same things because it is familiar, not because it is working. We are creatures of habit, and once we have a habit of doing things one way, we are likely to continue in the same fashion no matter what.
Did you know every time you take a shower, you follow the same washing routine? For real, you don’t even think about it, you’re not even consciously aware of it, but you habitually do the same thing in the same order with every shower. When you wash your hair, you have a routine. You scrub in exactly the same way. You wash one armpit before you wash the other one, and it’s always the same one first. Why? It’s just your habit.
I once issued a challenge to the women I mentor to switch up their shower routine to make them more aware. If you typically wash your hair before you wash your body, switch it and wash your body first. If you shave your right leg first, switch and shave your left leg first. Interestingly enough, I received reports of women getting out of the shower realizing they had failed to wash the conditioner out of their hair, or they had forgotten to shave the other leg. Why? Because their routine was off.
We are creatures of habit. Habits save us precious mental space by allowing us to cruise on auto-pilot for mundane tasks and save our focus for more crucial tasks. It’s a good thing … until it’s not good at all. Until our habits have us doing things that don’t serve us well. Until our habits have us wandering down roads we shouldn’t be on. Until our habits have us missing what God has for us.
Do you have a habit of rushing in before seeking God? Do you have a habit of trying to force closed doors to open? Do you have a habit of staying stuck where you were only meant to pause? Do you have a habit of trying everything on your own before ever considering asking God for a little help?
You’re doing it, and you don’t even realize it. Just like perpetually washing one armpit before the other, you keep doing it because it’s what you’ve always done. But honey, if this thing isn’t working for you, someone’s got to step in front of you and say, “Stop it.”
So here I am, as your humble and peppy voice of the Lord this morning … GIRL, STOP IT.
Stop giving up before you’ve really even tried. Stop trying to force your way to work. Stop twisting and contorting this thing into being something it’s not. Stop thinking you’ve got this thing on your own. Stop trying to cover up your mistake, fix your mess, and run away from your reality. Stop it. It’s only getting worse. You’re running, but it’s chasing you. This mess isn’t going away.
You can’t do this on your own. It’s not working. You’ve run head on into a dead end and it stops right here.
Ahhhhhh, and God is here at this dead end for you. Right here where nothing has worked for you, God is waiting to work for you. Right here where you’ve tried everything you know to try, God knows exactly what to do. This isn’t just any old dead end, honey this is a divine dead end where that old crap is about to be stripped away so something new can grow in your life. Where a new direction can be given, your purpose can be reinstated, and your passion can be stirred again. Where God can turn ashes into beauty. Where God can take what was intended for harm and do good with it that will save lives.
That’s where you are. That’s what this dead end is, and you didn’t even know it. You’re here and God is meeting you here.
Now, this is the prayer to pray here. “Lord, if you’re in it, I want it. If you’re not, I don’t want it.”
Well that’s different, isn’t it. We’re used to wanting and going. We’re used to jumping in, then stopping to consider if we should have jumped on our way down. We’re used to trying all the things until nothing is left to try, then asking for help. But God is saying, “STOP. Seek me first!”
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
Okay, so God, I will stop and check to see if this is the way you have for me! I will stop rushing into things, running on ahead, and trying to push my way in doors you have closed.
God, is this what you have for me? God, is this right? Does this align with your best plans for my life? Are you in this God? If you are, then I’m going for it. If you’re not, then I want absolutely nothing to do with it.
This can be your new habit. One found and established at this divine dead end.
Lord, if you’re in it, I want it. I mean I want all of it. I don’t want a cheap imitation, lesser-than version of it. I don’t want the microwave version of it. I don’t want my duct taped, super glued, thrown together, self-created version of it. I want the original, divinely designed, OG with the fingerprints of God on it version. If you’re in this God, I want it. I’m willing to go all in on this. All of me, holding absolutely nothing back, because I believe your promises are true and your plans are good.
What would a habit like this look like in your life? Woah. Imagine the disasters you would avoid. Imagine the progress you would make. Imagine the great plans God could guide you right into.
Your Bible is filled with stories of people who learned to trust God. People who created a habit of going all in on what God was doing, and avoiding what would distract them from that mission.
Noah is one of those stories. You know, Noah and the ark. Noah had a habit of trusting God completely. He had a habit of obedience. It was his habit to be all in if God was in it, and be out if God wasn’t. And because of this, God saw Noah as righteous. Noah was chosen by God for a mighty purpose. He would build the ark, gather 2 of every animal, and his family, and from them, all future descendants and creatures would come. God was starting over, and he was starting over with the one who had a habit of going all in with what God was doing.
Genesis 6: 9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
Look at all God did through this one man who was faithful. Look at how God used him to impact every single future soul that would be. And my sister, God is looking for a faithful one who will create a habit of always trusting and following him today.
When it becomes your habit to go all in on what God is doing, and quickly tap out if God isn’t in it, then it creates a natural flow in your life. You don’t have to think about it, you just do it. You’re following promptings you’re not even consciously aware of. You’re supernaturally guided and it all just feels so natural. Everything becomes a prayer. Did you know that’s possible? You can have a habit of seeking God in everything at all times. A continual conversation between you and your Papa, your Heavenly Father, your Big Daddy, the all-knowing Almighty. It doesn’t have to be a formal or memorized prayer, it’s just a habit of talking to God about everything.
This is what God is leading you to. A life where you walk faithfully with him, making it your habit to be fully surrendered to him and guided by him.
Will this be your prayer today? God, if you’re in it, I want it! But Lord, if you’re not, I don’t want it anymore.
I’m stopping all this other nonsense now. I trust you beyond my own desires. I cling to you over my own understanding. I will go where you guide me, I will do what you ask of me, and I will continually return to you for my next step so I don’t wander off again.